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  • Two hundred residents of Hartford/Morass Lane in Central Westmoreland have been presented with certificates of possession for former sugar lands, which they occupy.
  • Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, handed over the documents during a ceremony held on July 16 at the Hartford New Testament Church of God.
  • The presentation of titles comes under the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) Holdings Limited’s Community Regularization Programme.

Two hundred residents of Hartford/Morass Lane in Central Westmoreland have been presented with certificates of possession for former sugar lands, which they occupy.

Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, handed over the documents during a ceremony held on July 16 at the Hartford New Testament Church of God.

The presentation of titles comes under the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) Holdings Limited’s Community Regularization Programme.

Under the initiative, some 800 former sugar workers and their families, residing on Government-owned estates in St. Catherine, Clarendon, Westmoreland, St. Thomas and Trelawny, will receive titles to property they have been living on for many years.

A total of 300 persons have received titles to date.

The Minister, in his address, congratulated the recipients, noting that efforts are being made to fast-track the delivery of the other titles.

He said the ownership of a land title brings with it many possibilities to improve their standard of living and develop their communities.

“Land not only gives you access to permanence of residence but can also open the doors of entrepreneurship through agriculture and other cottage industries. The Government is aware that it is people who are at the centre of development and therefore we see the legal possession of land as an important stepping stone to sustainable well- being,” he said.

Minister Kellier said the Government takes pride in the regularisation of the lands in Hartford/Morass, on which workers toiled for many years.

“Certainly, the time has come to provide improved housing to estate workers and their families and that is why the Government of Jamaica is undertaking a comprehensive programme of transformation in our sugar-dependent communities to address social infrastructure and social economic issues in these communities,” he said.

He informed that over $6.12 billion has been spent to date to undertake improvement projects islandwide. These include provision of housing units under the Barracks Relocation Programme at a cost of $2.4 billion; social infrastructure projects implemented at a cost of $1.4 billion; and $800 million on cane road improvement.